Central government backs Bhardwaj, slams Yeddyurappa
Saturday January 22, 2011 07:04:43 PM,
Delhi/Mumbai/Bangalore: The central government Saturday
backed Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj for his controversial step
in sanctioning Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa's prosecution on
corruption charges as it slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
for the violence unleashed by its cadres during a 12-hour shutdown
in the state.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram flayed the BJP for taking to the
streets to protest Bhardwaj's order and said he was "disappointed
that the BJP has raised the decibel level and has taken to the
streets… This is not correct and is totally unacceptable."
Defending Bhardwaj, the home minister said the central government
had taken note of the developments in Karnataka and it was not a
unique case when a governor has sanctioned a chief minister's
"It is not the first time that a governor has given his sanction
to prosecute a chief minister or a minister. The law in this
respect is clear and well-settled," Chidambaram said in Delhi.
The home minister in his statement recalled the statement of
Karnataka Lok Ayukta Santosh Hegde, who observed that the governor
had the jurisdiction to grant sanction for prosecution.
Speaking in a similar tone in Mumbai, union Law Minister M.
Veerappa Moily said Governor Bhardwaj was well within his
authority to sanction the chief minister's prosecution as the
alleged corruption and nepotism charges against Yeddyurappa are
"Corruption is on record, nepotism is on record. There is a rule
of law in the country. Nobody is above rule of law. Rule of law
applies to all," Moily told reporters, adding chief ministers
don't enjoy immunity from the law.
The law minister attacked the ruling BJP in the state for
resorting to violence to enforce the shutdown during which
activists torched buses, pelted stones and attacked shops across
"They (BJP) are defending the corruption at the highest level," he
Chidambaram said the state government was obliged to maintain law
and order in the wake of the BJP-sponsored shutdown and "not to
stand by when law and order is disrupted by party cadres or there
are acts of violence".
He said any person aggrieved by the order of the governor could
seek legal remedies.
The governor gave permission Friday night to launch criminal
proceedings against Yeddyurappa, as sought by two Bangalore-based
advocates, Sirajin Basha and K.N. Balaraj, over revelations that
the chief minister had favoured his close kin with prime land in
and around Bangalore.
Angry over the governor's order which the BJP termed as a
conspiracy "to dislodge a popular government", hundreds of party
activists enforced the shutdown by burning buses and stoning shops
to protest Bhardwaj's sanction.
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